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Radley Stories

Craft & Design

Where We Wander: Radley London Design Team on Autumn Trends

21 September 2022

The excitement for a new season was palpable when we sat down to chat with our Radley London Design Studio. The Where We Wander campaign is inspired by the city our Designers call home, and they couldn’t wait to tell us more about our Autumn collection of artisan crafted handbags. Including the twists on catwalk trends to look out for.

Tell us about your original inspiration for Autumn 

Lucy: We had a lot of fun with this season. It’s all about the layers of London and its heritage. We spent time going to museums and exhibitions as research. 

Sally: We also looked at the incredible libraries all around the city, both the architecture and the books themselves.

Zizi: We definitely took inspiration from academia, thinking about this season as ‘back to school’ time. Even though none of us have summers off anymore, I think that feeling sticks with you from childhood of wanting to start fresh in the autumn. And nostalgic satchel shapes are a huge trend for the season.

Lucy: Yes, you can see we’ve continued that preppy theme we started in Summer, these styles are still extremely fashion-forward.

What were some of the influences on you as a team at the time?

Liz: We love discussing our current obsessions as a team, and while doing our trend research we all became huge fans of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. It had just come out around the time we designed this collection, and the retro styles and rich scenery were so inspiring.

Lucy: You can see the retro detailing on styles like Acorn Way Patchwork, this was inspired by herringbone floors which we found in lots of London’s older buildings. Including our Mayfair office.

Sally: We had just moved into the office at this time and were astounded to discover it was a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse.

 

What are the key trends to look out for this season? 

Zizi: Vintage details have been so popular on the catwalks. We’ve put our twist on them to showcase our fantastic materials. Like drawstring closures that beautifully gather our soft leathers. 

Sally: And the patchwork trend really shows off the skills of our artisan craftspeople. There’s a larger trend for geometry across Autumn so we had fun playing around with shapes.

Lucy: You’ll spot labels inside some of our most intricately handcrafted styles. You wouldn’t believe how difficult the zig zag stitching on Liverpool Street Patchwork is to achieve. 

Sally: As Zizi mentioned, we know people are getting into that back-to-school mindset after summer holidays, so we wanted to create a brand-new style that’s smart enough for work and looks great for evenings out too – Hillgate Place. It’s so roomy, we’ve constructed it so that it folds beautifully rather than being stiff, using pebble leather that will hold its shape over time. You might recognise the handle detail – we've borrowed it from Baylis Road 2.0

Liz: And inside it’s got the triple compartment shape we know everyone loves.

Sally: Shearling is one of my favourite trends for the cooler months. We’ve added it to Hyde Road on the side panels.

Alice: It’s the season for spooky styles, and our next Book Street is a real celebration of British Halloween traditions. We imagined it as a journal for someone attending a school of witchcraft, you’ll spot some graffiti on there. Ruby the black cat is on there, of course.

Sophie: Embellishments are huge for October onwards. This season we’re seeing a lot of maximalism such as gems and studs. Ours are inspired by treasures you might find in an attic, with rich jewel tones. We’ve added this to Sunny Rise (coming in October) because that’s one of our most party-ready styles. The mini version is super cute. 

Please tell us about the key colours of the season. 

Sally: Earthy colours are the must-haves for August. Clay is a beautiful option for that time when Summer and Autumn wardrobes are merging.

Sophie: Longevity of colours is really important to us. We want our bags to be investment pieces that you’ll wear season after season. We’ve chosen our palette carefully with that in mind.

Lucy: For September, it's all about richness. We introduce Dark Cherry, Dark Rose and Lazuli, bold shades that will have you ready for spending cosy evenings in the pub by a fireside. 

Zizi: And those colours continue on for October, when we add even more exciting bright shades and finishes. Get ready.

Tell us a little bit about the process of designing a picture bag

Alice: It starts with our main theme of the season. It’s very collaborative as well, the whole team contribute ideas. 

Once we have that strong idea, then it’s time to think about the layers, playing around with artisan techniques to create depth. The characters will almost always be appliqué for example, to ensure they stand out.

Read our blog all about The Observatory to discover more about the craftsmanship that goes into our most intricate designs.

We can’t wait to unveil our Christmas picture bag. This will be coming in October as we think it will make the perfect festive gift, so we wanted to make sure it would be available in plenty of time for organised shoppers. It’s inspired by the iconic scenes of Regent Street at Christmas time.

We know it’s tough, but if you had to choose a favourite bag what would you pick?

Zizi: I choose Apsley Road Heirloom in the Dark Cherry colour. It fits so much, and with the two straps I can have the chain strap for evening, and use the leather strap during the day.

Lucy: I know I’m going to be running around with Museum Street in Dark Rose this autumn. It’s the perfect spacious size for me.

Sally: I’m going to be a new mum by the time Hillgate Place is available so I have my eye on that. In the classic Black. I reckon I could fit the webbing strap across a buggy.

Alice: I’m going for Hay’s Mews Colour Block, because Lucy has one of the previous styles and I’m always admiring it.

Sophie: I plan to go out dancing with Sunny Rise Stud (coming in October).

Liz: I’m in love with colour block dressing so I’ll be wearing the metallic Cranwell Close (coming in October) with a fuchsia suit I have.

We can’t wait to see the looks you create, Design Team. Thanks for sharing your fantastic collection with us.

Discover the full August Edit now, and keep up to date with the latest news on Radley Stories.